The Story Behind Geddy Lee’s Feud With Eddie Van Halen


Not many fans fan think of something that bonds Geddy Lee and Eddie Van Halen except that they are both brilliant musicians. However, there’s actually a story narrated by no other than ex-Van Halen singer David Lee Roth that may reveal a lesser-known experience they had together.

According to Diamond Dave, the Van Halen guitarist and Rush frontman had an intense moment when their crew and band members were at the same bar. The tension arose when Eddie Van Halen accidentally spilled his beer on a tape recorder, and the rest of the story is even crazier.

Geddy Lee And Eddie Van Halen Had A Dispute Over A Beer


This incredible story was actually revealed by former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth during an interview with True Stuff on July 4, 1981. The singer recalled the time when Van Halen was staying at the same hotel as Rush members a year ago.

When the band members went to the hotel’s bar for Michael Anthony’s birthday, they encountered the Rush members who happened to be renting the entire bar, including all the alcohol. Since the Van Halen crew didn’t know Rus had rented the bar, they took a lot of bottles, which was the first spark.

Eventually, both bands started to drink together while Geddy Lee was playing Rush songs on a tape recorder. While Eddie Van Halen was sharing a drink with Lee, he spilled his beer onto the tape recorder. The incident caused a little friction if you ask Roth which marked the ending of their night together.

David Lee Roth told the story:

“We gonna go back in time now, back a year’s time to Leicester, England. You’re gonna have to look that up; it’s spelled with an ‘ie’ or something. We’d just finished playing: great show, everybody’s very up it was Michael’s birthday.

And we’d come back to the bar, and Rush was staying at the same hotel. And as it turns out later – they’d rented the bar with all the booze in it. And our guys didn’t know that, and they came in and said, ‘What, free booze?! Whoa!!’ And they cleaned the place out, which put their guys on edge a little bit.

And Edward was sitting at the table with Geddy Lee, and they’d both been drinking a little bit, and Geddy was playing some Rush tapes on a tape recorder. He said something to Ed, and Ed’s beer got into the tape recorder. Well, that caused a little friction.”

One year after the incident, Rush was performing at the same venue as Van Halen in Las Vegas. It was rumored that the Canadian band had banned Van Halen members and crew from being in their show. Diamond Dave also opened up about that allegation and said that they saw Geddy Lee after the show.

Apparently, the band members and crew were at a casino where Lee wanted to say hello to Eddie Van Halen out of the blue. While he had good intentions, the Rush frontman was body tackled and kicked out by one of Van Halen’s security guards who didn’t know Lee, which was the last time band saw him.

About the last time they saw Lee, Roth said:

“Anyways, 1981. The word goes out that nobody remotely associated with Van Halen is allowed into the show. As it turns out, a lot of our truckers, we’ve got five or six trucks, gotta have people to drive them, they know other truckers and they know the guys in Rush.

And they say, ‘Hey c’mon over, have a beer and a buzz, you’re welcome at our show anytime, and so on. And so the late word goes out, some Van Halen people, some, will be allowed into the show. And they’ve got some great guys working for them. So the show goes on and everything.

We jump ahead now. After the show, we’re sitting in this casino. There are tables filled with Van Halen people, there’s 47 or 50 of us on the road now. And Geddy feels one way or another and comes up to say something to Ed, and he puts up his hand to shake hands. Now one of our security guards didn’t have the vaguest idea in hell who he was, and he came up, and body tackled him. Ha, ha, ha. Threw him out of the table, and that’s the last I saw of ’em!”

Many years after the incident, things seemed to be okay between Geddy Lee and Van Halen members as the musician was rumored to be forming a superband with Alex Lifeson and Alex Van Halen. While the trio hasn’t released music so far, they haven’t denied the allegations as well.